Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why Santa is Getting Coals for Christmas!

Genealogy and the Rogue Santas
This is a reprinted post from 2009… but oh so fun when reminding genealogy researchers to review Criminal Records and Conduct Registers when tracing ancestors. The following examples were all taken from ancestry.com (a quick search on the name Santa Claus). You know you too are curious of what ‘ole Santa was doing in the 1880’s.

On the 15 Aug 1881, the U. S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas was none too happy with Santa Claus. Was he really selling “spirit?” Perhaps it was a tough year, and he needed help spreading the Season’s Joy.  Well this “colored” Santa, lived in Eureka Springs close to the Tahlequah (Indian Reservation), was accused of“introduc[ing] into the Indian country a large quantity of spirituous liquors…two gallons of whisky[sic]”. By doing so, he violated the IRS laws by not paying the special liquor law tax.  

In November of 1888, Santa Claus from Texas, was serving time in the State Penitentiary in Huntsville. He had to serve two years for rebellious conduct. He unfortunately didn’t complete his time, as he died 25 April 1889.  Hmm...no one said Santa was immortal!

It Might Be Legal In Some Places, but….
At a3Genealogy we aren’t sure if Santa isn’t being mistreated…a bit.  In Minnesota, women can face up to 30 days in jail for impersonating Santa Claus…it was on the books as late as 2012. Wondering if that has changed this past year!

Merry Christmas from the a3Genealogy Staff and Researchers!
Kathleen Brandt

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